I intended to be a fine art major in college. When I graduated high school and time came to go and I couldn’t afford it, bitter as hell, I signed up for community college. When you’re an art major you have this pretension, especially when you’re eighteen years old, like “I know more than these professors.” In some fit of adolescent rage I thought I’d piss my parents off and I signed up as a songwriting major. I went one semester and it just sort of worked for me. As someone who enjoys writing, the biggest struggle, I think, for any writer, is people not actually reading what you write. I would hand essays and prose and stream of consciousness things to my friends and my family and they’d scan it and hand it back. That didn’t cut it for me. Songwriting was the easiest solution because it forces people to hear what I’m saying from my voice. I always say I’m a singer out of necessity because I can’t imagine anyone singing my songs but myself.
You’re five years old and it’s the first day of school and you realize that everyone else only has two parents –– but it looks like you only have two because one of your moms is waiting in the car. You’re eight years old and every movie has one mom and one dad. Every book has one mom and one dad. You’re ten years old and you realize that your town of -1000 people looks at your family a little differently. That your family sits a little closer together at church. That your family doesn’t eat out very often. You’re twelve years old and you love your family. You do. And you keep trying to breath and push back against the world but you know you won’t change how they look at you. You’re fifteen years old and things are good. Finally really good. Until a new girl is recruited to your stable and her parents make a fuss about yours. She’s eventually asked to leave. You’re sixteen years old and you like a boy! He’s sweet and he’s so good to you. You eventually bring him home. He’s accepting of your parents. You give him every part of you. You’re sixteen years old and your boyfriend sleeps with someone else because, “You have three parents. I thought you’d be cool with it.” You’re seventeen years old and you love your new boyfriend and girlfriend so much it hurts but they have to introduce you to their parents as their ‘friend’ and you watch it chip away at them. You’re seventeen years old and your boyfriend gets cornered in town and told that he’s using you and your girlfriend. Told that you and your girlfriend are sluts. You’re seventeen years old and you worry that everyone at your college will find out. You think that classes would be too hard if you were outed. Maybe you’d transfer. You’re eighteen years old and you sit and you pray that you’re not wrong about your choices. You’re eighteen years old and you watch your boyfriend and your girlfriend sleep in the middle of the night because you’re so blessed you worry you’ll wake up and they won’t be there. You’re eighteen years old and you’re surrounded by love and you wonder why it’s still hard to breathe sometimes.